What makes a learner?

first_imgElaineEssery canvasses opinion on how to identify whether an individual will be worththe training spend – and how to encourage them to identify the new skills theyneedTheconcept of learning is taking over from training. If training subscribes to the“empty bucket” theory, where people are filled up with knowledge andinformation, learning perhaps puts more focus on the individual as an activeparticipant in the process. Trainingmay have its place when the need is to implement something new, but other formsof learning also contribute when we need employees to perform competently. Eachapproach has a cost attached to it, be it training course fees or theinvestment of time and effort in coaching and mentoring on the job. So how canwe tell if that investment is going to pay? To adapt an adage, you can lead aperson to learning, but you can’t make them learn. Which begs the question,what makes a learner? BillLucasChief executive, Campaign for Learning, and author of Power up YourMind: Learn Faster, Work Smarter, out this monthFortoo long we have looked at the tools and techniques that individuals need tomake them successful learners, but we’ve missed two key areas: all that happensbefore the learning and all that happens after the learning. Learnersmust be emotionally ready and motivated to learn – as well as the tools andtechniques to help them learn, they need the competence to release their owncreativity, then they need the ability to reflect on the learning and adapttheir behaviours accordingly. Ifwe’re going to make learning work, we’ve got to be sure we have a range ofreturn on investment indicators that includes all these points.PaulSinclairHead of training and development, Warrington Borough CouncilMypet phrase is that a training course is a last resort. If you can develop acompetency framework that is meaningful to the workforce and people can see apay-off in developing core competencies, that’s likely to attract them and makethem become positive learners. Weneed to help individuals identify the bit that’s missing that would make themfully competent in their role and agree individual interventions, rather thansend them on a training course when they may only need 5 per cent. The bigbreakthrough in traditional appraisal is when the individual you’re encouragingto develop says, “I think I need help in that area”.DavidButcherDirector of the Business Leaders’ Programme Cranfield School ofManagementI’dmake the distinction between training and development rather than training andlearning, because learning encompasses both. The difference is to do with howmuch of the person’s mindset you’re trying to engage. With training you’redealing mostly with knowledge and skills, but development is about much moreholistic concepts. Thebig distinction between executives who are successful learners and those whoare not is the fixedness of the mindset. If someone has strongly-heldattitudes, it’s not worth trying to dismantle them, and the possibility ofdevelopment is emasculated. Peopleseeking to develop others need to know them much better than if all they wantto do is train them. GarethDentHead of learner information, UFIOurexperience shows there is an enormous demand for learning. The real question iswhat makes a non-learner, because curiosity and a thirst for learning arepresent from an early age. It’sdown to what people learn about learning. If you’ve been successful atlearning, that breeds motivation to learn more, but if you’ve learnt thatlearning is difficult and painful, you’ll view it as a risky endeavour. We thenhave to switch back on that desire to learn by making sure the investment weask people to make is tiny in terms of time, effort and risk and by linking itto reward.AlisonClarkeDivisional learning and development director Whitbread RestaurantsOneof the things we’re thinking about a lot is that people in the past have alwayslearnt by rote, the way they did at school, and if you ever tested anybody’sknowledge from school these days, you’d probably find they hadn’t retained ahuge amount. Theonly way you ever get people inspired to learn is if they generate the interestthemselves. If people believe in what they’re learning and feel it adds valueto their lives, they’ll be hungry for more. If training is served on a plate –not very interesting and not just in time for what people need – you’re betteroff not supplying it. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article What makes a learner?On 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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